We Built This City

“North Beach & Russian Hill, SF” (watercolor, 21 x 14 in.) by Thomas Bucci

“Everybody has a muse,” Thomas Bucci says. “I see painters who have a love for rural landscapes, or for beautiful skies. I’m not anti-nature, but I’m not the guy taking a walk in the woods. I’d rather walk down 5th Avenue.”

Bucci says he appreciates how a cityscape gives him powerful compositional tools, in particular the wires, poles, roads, and buildings that provide perspective lines that firmly situate the viewer in the scene. “In architecture, we refer to one kind of urban design as axis and episodes, which simply means a line with interesting elements at intervals along the line, or axis. The axis, which is often a street, is the connection between two things. When you come upon a notable building or other element, and you look down the axis, you see the next interesting thing. It’s planned that way; it has an episodic feeling to it.”

Thomas Bucci’s “North Beach & Russian Hill, SF” won the “Best Watercolor & Gouache” category in the February 2022 PleinAir Salon.


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